A Laugh for Seniors
Three groups of seniors joined together to share in the humor that comes with aging at the Community Campus on Saturday. The groups from Portsmouth’s Edgewood Centre, Dover’s Langdon Place and Kittery Estates have each been working with members of the “Senior Moments” acting program for the past four weeks. Founded in 1999 and sponsored by the Seacoast Repertory Theatre, Senior Moments is an all-volunteer performance group for seniors by seniors. The group performs self-written plays and skits throughout the state at senior centers to bring an ounce of humor to issues affecting elders. “We are seniors who decided we could have more fun acting than playing bingo,” said Senior Moments Artistic Director Jim Dodge. Each group took the spotlight for 30 minutes, reading a variety of witty skits and jokes, and the material was far from dry. Rosemary Hodun, 86, of the Edgewood Centre, began the show with a skit about “her” four marriages. The first was to a banker in her early 20s, the second was to a circus ringmaster in her 40s, a preacher in her 60s and finally a funeral director. “I married one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go,” she read. Before the show, Andy Elcik, 61, and his best friend Artie Deshaies, 78, both from the Edgewood Centre, were looking forward to a skit where they poke fun at “their” wives. Their skit told the story of two elderly men colliding with their shopping carts while in Walmart and sharing the dilemma that neither could find his wife. Elcik described “his” 27-year-old, tall, blue-eyed and big-busted wife and then asked Deshaies to describe his. “Wow, it doesn’t matter,” he read. “Let’s look for yours!” Many skits and one-liners focused on problems of memory loss, aging bodies and how things take on new meaning as you age. “You know you’re old when getting lucky means you found your car in the parking lot,” read Deshaies, earning laughs from the audience full of friends and family. The readings were sprinkled with serious moments and examples of how the issues are all too real for the seniors performing them. “It’s better to say 'I’m fine' and smile with a grin rather than let people know the shape I am in,” read Hodun. A self-professed star of the show, Hodun said she worked “all night long” to perform some of her lines to her best ability. The others from Edgewood agreed she is the most charismatic actress and inspired them to read their lines with more flair. Good work Edgewood!